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Martin steps up, Thunder eliminate Rockets
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On May 4, 2013 @ 12:58 am In Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Sean Highkin, USA TODAY Sports
Kevin Durant can’t carry the scoring load all by himself for the Oklahoma City Thunder. On Friday, he didn’t have to. Sixth man Kevin Martin bounced back from a disappointing first five games in the series to score 25 points and help the Thunder secure a 103-94 win over the Houston Rockets to advance to the second round of the playoffs.
James Harden, the superstar the Thunder traded for Martin, battled through a case of strep throat that had him unable to drink water on the bench to score 26 points for the Rockets. The Rockets, led by Harden and Chandler Parsons (25 points), kept it close in the first half and trailed by two going into halftime. However, Durant and Martin began to heat up in the third quarter and Oklahoma City never lost control of the game after that.
SCHEDULE: First-round schedule and TV times
BOX SCORE:Thunder 103, Rockets 94
Martin’s performance was a welcome change of pace for the Thunder, who have not had a consistent second option on offense since Russell Westbrook went down with a season-ending knee injury in Game 2. In his place, point guards Reggie Jackson and Derek Fisher combined for 26 points, and Jackson added 7 rebounds and 8 assists.
Rockets point guard Jeremy Lin came off the bench for the first time since re-aggravating a chest injury in Game 3. He scored 3 points in 13 minutes.
With Friday’s win, the Thunder advance to the second round of the Western Conference playoffs.
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